Aug 10, 2013 at 5.30pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Soldado (30' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lopez (45')

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Espanyol - as it happened

Sports Mole's coverage of the pre-season clash at White Hart Lane as Tottenham Hotspur draw 1-1 with Espanyol.

Tottenham Hotspur's final match of pre-season pitted the Premier League outfit against Espanyol at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Roberto Soldado marked his Spurs debut with a goal as he converted from the penalty spot after 29 minutes, but David Lopez equalised for the Spanish outfit in the final minute of the first period.

Both sides had half-chances in the second half, but neither could make the breakthrough as the pre-season tie ended in a share of the spoils.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

5.01pmAfternoon all! Our focus switches to White Hart Lane this early evening as Tottenham Hotspur welcome Espanyol for their final match of pre-season. It hasn’t been the calmest of summers for Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, but he will hope for a positive performance in London ahead of their league opener against Crystal Palace on August 18.


SPURS: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Fryers, Rose; Dembele, Chadli, Paulinho; Lennon, Soldado, Sigurdsson

ESPANYOL: Kiko; Lopez, Colotto, Moreno, Fuentes; Sanchez, Lopez, Simao; Stuani, Pizzi, Garcia

5.07pmSo there we have it. There are Spurs debuts for Paulinho and Roberto Soldado this evening, but there is no place in the squad for Gareth Bale, which says something about his future. Elsewhere, Zeki Fryers gets a start in the middle of the defence alongside fit-again Michael Dawson, while Danny Rose and Kyle Walker will occupy the full-back positions at White Hart Lane.

5.10pmThe Espanyol team news has also just filtered through at White Hart Lane with the Spanish outfit naming a strong starting XI. There is a start for new signing Pizzi, who joined on-loan from Benfica this summer, while Sergio Garcia will skipper the La Liga outfit. They will provide a good test for Spurs this evening there is no question about that.

5.13pmIt hasn’t been the best of pre-seasons for Spurs in terms results, with just two wins from their seven games. They began their preparations with a 1-1 draw against Swindon Town on July 16, before playing out a goalless draw with Colchester United three days later. Their first defeat arrived in Hong Kong when they were beaten 3-1 by Sunderland on July 24.

5.16pmSpurs returned to form with a 6-0 win over South China, but back-to-back defeats followed against Milton Keynes Dons and Monaco. A Spurs XI did record a 5-0 win over Cambridge City on Wednesday, but it was a much-changed side from the one taking part this evening. In front of their own supporters, the London outfit really need a positive result in this one.

5.19pmSpurs have been active in the transfer market this summer with Paulinho joining from Corinthians, Soldado swapping Valencia for White Hart Lane and Nacer Chadli signing from FC Twente. They have lost Clint Dempsey to the Seattle Sounders, however, while Steven Caulker, surprisingly it must be said, was allowed to join Cardiff City last week.

5.22pmIt is hard to get away from the constant speculation surrounding Bale, however, with Real Madrid actively pursuing the Welshman. It had been reported that the La Liga outfit were prepared to offer £100m for the winger, but it is not yet clear whether an official bid has been submitted. The worse thing that could happen would be to lose his services in the latter stages of the window and not have time to bring in a replacement.

5.25pmOf course, there is another team on display this early evening, with Espanyol bringing a full complement of players ahead of their La Liga opener against Celta Vigo on August 19. The Spanish outfit have largely struggled in pre-season, however, with two draws against Constantine and Montpellier following a 2-1 defeat to Sabadell.

5.28pmThey have lost the services of highly-rated midfielder Joan Verdu this summer, but boss Javier Aguirre has bought well with the signings of David Lopez, Pizzi and Sidnei. They were threatened with relegation from Spain’s top division in the early part of last season, but recovered to secure a respectable mid-table finish in La Liga.

0 minHere we go then. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Espanyol will provide a tough test this evening, but I expect Spurs to pick up a much-needed win in front of their own supporters. Right, the away side get the 90 minutes underway.

2 minIt must be said that the pitch is in wonderful condition this evening, while the stadium is packed out with passionate supporters. Bright start from Spurs in the opening couple of minutes with Chadli and Paulinho both enjoying early periods in possession.

4 minFirst opportunity for Rose to open his legs as the full-back darts beyond Lopez, but Colotto is across to clear at the vital moment. It's bright work from Chadli as the new signing drives inside before finding Lennon, but his low cross is blocked by Colotto. Bright start from the Premier League outfit.

6 minIt's strong play from Soldado as the Spanish striker collects a throw from Walker before driving into the box, but Fuentes does manage to clear at the vital moment. Eventually Dembele collects possession outside the box, but the former Fulham midfielder is felled by Sanchez. Espanyol just have not been allowed to start thus far.

7 minPaulinho has the ball in the back of the net for the home side as he dispatches a header from close range, but the linesman raises his flag following the free kick from Sigurdsson. Soldado threatens moments later following a mazy run, but Moreno is across to clear. One-way traffic in the opening seven minutes.

9 minAnother half-chance for Spurs as Chadli rides two challenges before driving into the Espanyol box, but once more Moreno is across to clear the danger at the vital moment. This has been some start from Spurs, who are desperate to make an impression this evening. However, Espanyol have managed to keep the score goalless thus far.

11 minVillas-Boas looks content on the sideline as he watches his side utterly dominate possession against the Spanish outfit. A half-chance does arrive for Espanyol following a mistake from Rose, but Pizzi's low cross is cleared by Dawson, before Walker fires into the arms of Kiko down the other end moments later.

13 minSpurs have had five corners in the opening 13 minutes of this pre-season fixture, which tells you all that you need to know about their dominance. However, Kiko has been fairly comfortable gathering each cross thus far. Just a few signs that Espanyol are starting to come to terms with the occasion as the Spanish outfit enjoy an extended period with possession.

15 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Paulinho collects possession in midfield before attempting to find the run of Soldado, but the Spaniard just could not beat Kiko to the ball. A late challenge from Walker presents a free kick to Simao down the other end, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar.

17 minAgain it's bright work in a wide area for Spurs as Walker combines with Lennon, but the latter is chopped down by Sanchez. The resulting free kick is delivered into a dangerous area by Walker, but it just evades the head of Dembele. Still goalless at White Hart Lane with 17 minutes on the clock.

19 minThe home supporters remain in good voice at White Hart Lane as Spurs continue to craft and probe outside the opposing box. Rose remains a threat on the over-lap as he moves past Chadli, but Colotto is across to clear the danger. No real chances for either side thus far, but the Premier League outfit have certainly looked the most likely to open the scoring on their home patch.

22 minAgain it's powerful running from Walker as the right-back drives past Simao, but the Espanyol winger brings the England international to the ground. Another free kick follows for the home side, as Sigurdsson finds the head of Soldado, but his effort just flicks over the crossbar. That would have been some moment for the former Valencia striker.

24 minAgain it's bright work from Rose down the other side as the left-back drives past Moreno before delivering a low cross into the box, but Soldado just could not make contact at the vital moment. Pizzi attempts to find Garcia down the other end for Espanyol, but Fryers steps out of defence before finding the feet of Dembele. Still goalless with 24 minutes on the clock.

26 minPizzi continues to cause problems for Spurs as he drives a low cross towards Stuani, but once more Fryers is in the correct position to clear the danger. Espanyol's first corner of the match is met by David Lopez, but Lloris is on hand to collect when the right-back might have done better.

28 minNot too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last few moments, but Spurs continue to dominate possession in the final third. It is a shame to keep mentioning a certain player that isn't here for Spurs, but Bale would surely make this team genuine contenders for the title this season. Soldado, Paulinho and Chadli have all been bright thus far.

28 minPizzi is again the danger for the away side as the on-loan Benfica forward collects a pass from Simao before driving a low cross into the box, but his strike partner Sergio Garcia is nowhere to be seen. The tempo has certainly dropped after an explosive start, but Spurs continue to look the most likely to open the scoring at White Hart Lane.


29 minGOAL! Spurs 1-0 Espanyol (Soldado, pen)

30 minSpurs are awarded a penalty moments before the 30-minute mark as David Lopez fells Rose in the box. The new signing Soldado steps up before thumping his effort into the back of the net. What a moment for the former Valencia striker. That has certainly settled everyone down.

32 minThe goal has certainly lifted everyone inside the stadium with the supporters suddenly finding extra noise. Spurs search forward for their second as Paulinho finds the run of Lennon inside the box, but Moreno is across to quell the danger. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining at White Hart Lane.

34 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for the home side to add to their score as Paulinho collects a pass from Lennon before driving into the box, the Brazilian attempts to find Soldado, but Moreno just manages to intercept at the vital moment. That would have been a tap in for the Spaniard's second goal of the evening.

36 minBetter from Espanyol in the last couple of moments with the Spanish outfit enjoying more possession in the Spurs half, but they have been unable to find that elusive pass in the final third thus far. Spurs break down the other end with Dembele, but Soldado is caught on his heels. Good intensity to the match with 36 minutes on the clock.

38 minHalf-chance for Espanyol as Garcia collects possession outside the box before thumping an effort towards the bottom corner, but it just moves wide of the post. That is about the closest the Spanish side have come thus far. Spurs continue to keep good possession, but they have been unable to threaten in the last five minutes or so.

41 minAnother half-chance for Garcia as the skipper drives into the box before moving past Fryers, but Lloris just manages to clear at the vital moment. A long pass from Dembele finds Soldado moments later, but the Spaniard is penalised for backing into Moreno. Little under five minutes of the first period remaining.

43 minNot too much to report in terms of attacking football in the last few moments with Spurs more than happy to keep hold of the ball. I suspect that Villas-Boas will be content with what he has seen thus far. Aguirre, however, will be keen to see more of an attacking threat from his side in the second period.

44 minThe tempo has noticeably dropped in the last couple of minutes of the first period with both sides preparing for the interval. I suspect that we will see a number of changes either at the interval or in the early stages of the second period. Couple of late challenges from both sides, meanwhile, in the last few moments.

44 minGOAL! Spurs 1-1 Espanyol (Lopez)

45 minEspanyol level in the last minute of the first period as Lopez gets across his marker before thumping a powerful header into the back of the net. The Spanish outfit had just started to threaten from set pieces. Well, that has silenced White Hart Lane in the final couple of minutes in the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Spurs 1-1 Espanyol

6.18pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Spurs and Espanyol level at 1-1. The home side started the better, eventually taking the lead after 29 minutes when Soldado converted from the spot, but a late header from Lopez levelled in the latter stages of the half. Work to be done in the second period.

6.23pmIn terms of the new boys on show for both sides, Spurs will be impressed with the performances of both Paulinho and Soldado - who certainly deserved to open his tally this evening. Espanyol boss Aguirre, meanwhile, will be pleased with the pace and movement of Pizzi, who has opened the door for a number of his teammates in the first 45 minutes.

6.28pmI suspect that we will see some changes at the interval from both sides as both manages prepare for their league campaigns. Just a reminder that Spurs welcome Crystal Palace in their league opener next Sunday, while Espanyol are in La Liga action against Celta Vigo on August 19.

46 minHere we go then. Both sides join us on the pitch for the second period. Of course, the result is not all-important this evening, but you just get the feeling that everyone would feel a lot better about themselves in this stadium if Spurs picked up the victory. Right, Villas-Boas's side get the action underway in the second 45 minutes.

48 minOne change for Spurs at the interval with Younes Kaboul replacing Fryers in the centre of the defence. That is a big boost for the home side with the Frenchman out for a long period through injury. It does not appear that the away side have made any changes, however, with the same XI taking to the field. Let's hope for some more goals in the second 45 minutes at White Hart Lane.

50 minEarly opportunity for the away side as Sanchez's delivery causes all sorts of problems in the Spurs box, it almost falls for the goalscorer Lopez, but Soldado manages to scramble clear at the vital moment. Good tempo to the opening five minutes of the second period.

52 minPositive start to the half from the home side with sharp passing in midfield bringing applause from the home supporters. Simao attempts to craft something for the Spanish outfit moments later, but Dawson steps across to clear the danger. Big cheer, meanwhile, as Sandro warms up for Spurs - how he was missed in the latter stages of lasts season.

54 minA bright counter from Spurs brings a half-chance as Sigurdsson collects possession on the edge of the box before finding Rose, but Moreno is across to clear at the vital moment. The resulting corner is met by Soldado, but he can only scuff his effort into the arms of the goalkeeper. Still 1-1 with 54 minutes on the clock at White Hart Lane.

56 minHalf-chance for Walker as the right-back demonstrates his wonderful turn of pace before bursting into the box, but Kiko just manages to clear at the vital moment. Combination between Dembele and Chadli presents a shooting chance to the former, but Moreno steps out to make the challenge. Little under 35 minutes of football remaining at White Hart Lane.

58 minAlmost a goal for Kaboul on his return as the French defender towers above everyone in the box before meeting a cross from Dembele, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. Slight problem for Colotto moments later, but it does appear that the defender will be fit to continue. I expect that we could see some more changes in the next five minutes or so.

61 minSpurs have just quickened the tempo in the last few moments with Rose and Walker prepared to overlap in the final third, but Espanyol have been tighter defensively since the interval. Garcia threatens to harm Spurs in their penalty area as he moves past Walker, but the Espanyol skipper cannot find a pass at the final moment.

63 minThree changes for Spurs as Sandro, Defoe and Friedel enter the field in place of Paulinho, Soldado and Lloris. Meanwhile, Simao is replaced by Carlos Clero for the away side. The match had just slowed in the last few moments, but the changes should raise the tempo for the final 30 minutes.

65 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of losing possession in the final third. You just get the feeling that this match is there for the taking with little over 25 minutes of football remaining. Espanyol are starting to look brighter in terms of the quickness of their passing.

67 minIt must be said that the Espanyol supporters have travelled in their numbers for this match, and have indeed contributed to a fine atmosphere inside White Hart Lane. They look ready for the start of their league campaign, which gets underway against Celta Vigo on August 19. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in London.

69 minSpurs threaten from an out-swinging corner as Kaboul once more rises in the box, but Kiko just manages to clear at the vital moment. Just a bit of breaking news outside of this match, it appears that Manchester United have left Wayne Rooney out of their squad for the Community Shield tomorrow. Fit for England but not for United?!

72 minAnother change for the away side as Bifouma replaces the skipper Garcia, who has been quiet in the second period. A half-chance arrives for Espanyol moments later as Colotto rises in the penalty area, but he can only head wide of the post from close range. Not too much in the final third for Spurs in the last five minutes or so.

74 minGood pressure from the away side in the last couple of moments with Lopez twice delivering good free kicks into the box, but the first was punched clear by Friedel before Dawson deals with the second. Couple more changes for Spurs, meanwhile, as Townsend and Huddlestone replace Lennon and Dembele.

76 minDefoe has not had a sniff since entering for Spurs in the second period, but credit must be given to Espanyol, who have improved since the interval. A half-chance arrives for Lopez as he collects possession outside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Friedel, who has been comfortable since entering the field.

78 minSlight problem for Rose as the Spurs defender is caught with an arm from Stuani, but there was no intent from the Espanyol striker it would be fair to say. In truth, the changes in the second period has utterly killed the tempo with both sides now moving through their paces. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining.

81 minIt's a big blow for Rose as the defender leaves the field with a suspected head injury. Kyle Naughton enters the frame for the final nine minutes or so. You just get the feeling that there will be one more big chance left in this game as we approach the final stages.

83 minCHANCE! Best opportunity of the second period for Spurs as Townsend collects possession outside the box before curling an effort towards the bottom corner, but it just moved wide of the post. Sandro spreads the play to Huddlestone moments later, but his cross is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

85 minAnother change for Espanyol as Pizzi is replaced by Abraham Gonzalez. Spurs have a half-chance moments later as Huddlestone floats a high cross into the box, but Kiko comes through a host of bodies to punch clear. Little over five minutes of football remaining at White Hart Lane.

88 minLooks a nasty one for Lopez as the Espanyol midfielder is caught with a late challenge from Huddlestone. The Spurs midfielder did play the ball, but he caught the Spaniard on the follow through. Unfortunately, that has been the story of the second half - challenge after challenge interrupting the tempo. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining.

90 minTownsend becomes the latest player to enter the book for a late challenge on Lopez, who has been in the wars that is for certain. The resulting free kick allows Stuani the chance to whip a quick cross into the box, but Friedel comes to clear. I shouldn't think there will be too much added time at White Hart Lane.

90 min+1Another change for Spurs as Chadli is replaced by Kevin Stewart. Meanwhile, Stuani is replaced by Manuel Lanzarote for the away side. Neither will have too much time to make an impact as we play out the final couple of minutes. It appears that both sides will have to settle for a draw, which is a fair result.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Spurs 1-1 Espanyol

7.23pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with the two sides gaining a share of the spoils. Positive evening for Soldado, who scored on his debut from the penalty spot. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action at White Hart Lane. Good evening!

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Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline during the match against Southampton on May 4, 2013
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